20 Reasons to Appreciate Bats

Bats help keep our ecosystems healthy and help bring us some of our most tasty treats. There are so many reasons to appreciate bats, but we managed to narrow it down to 20.

A Mexican free-tailed bat, a brown bat with rounded ears, spreads its wings as it flies through a cave.
A Mexican free-tailed bat spreads its wings as it flies through a cave.

Nevada Department of Wildlife / Joseph Danielson

1. They are the only mammals that truly fly.

2. Bats are incredibly diverse: More than 1,300 species of bats live all over the world.

3. More than 45 species of bats live in national parks.

4. They’re in danger: White-nose syndrome (WNS) threatens several species of bats.

5. Bats use echolocation to navigate and catch prey.

Photo of a Townsend's big-eared bat
The Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii).

ODFW / Don Albright

6. Bats help agriculture. Many bats eat many, many insects every night.

7. Some bats can live up to 35 years!

8. Bats only have 1-2 pups each year.

9. Some bats pollinate plants… bringing us some of our mosty tasty treats, including agave, which is often used to make tequila.

10. Bats’ guano supports the complex ecosystems in caves.

a fruit bat hangs upside down eating a papaya
Flying foxes found in the National Park of American Samoa eat fruit.

Photo courtesy of Lyn Alexander

11. Fruit-eating bats spread seeds.

12. They feed larger animals; hawks, owls, and falcons rely on bats for food.

13. Bats’ unique wings have inspired some drone designs.

14. Bats are in the order Chiroptera, which means “hand wing.”

15. They have surprising skills. Some bats catch and eat fish. Some bats can do backflips in mid-flight when catching insects.

a pallid bat with a scorpion in its mouth
Pallid bats feed on scorpions, they're even immune to scorpion venom.

USFWS / Richard Jackson

16. Safe places for bats to live and thrive are disappearing.

17. Changes in seasonal weather patterns make it difficult for bats to survive.

18. Some bats hibernate, some bats migrate, and some bats do both when the weather cools.

19. Hibernating bats' roosts are called hibernacula. Cool word!

20. The pallid bat is immune to scorpions’ stings.

Last updated: October 23, 2023